Deputy Governor of the State of Osun,Mrs Titilayo Laoye-Tomori has appealed to the National Boundary Commission to expedite action on the final determination of Ondo/Osun interstate boundary issue in order to make room for perpetual peace and progress in the disputed areas.
Mrs Laoye-Tomori,who is also the Chairperson of the State Boundary Committee made the appeal in Akure when she led the State delegation to the National Boundary Commission convened Stakeholders Meeting on the boundary issue.
Speaking on behalf of the Deputy Governor, Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti lamented that the boundary issue had lingered for so long despite the fact that various Technical Committees had earlier been set up to address it.
While reporting that the Benin-Owena River Basin Authority had issued a Quit Notice to occupants of some of the disputed border areas, Mrs. Laoye-Tomori appealed to all stakeholders to avoid actions that could cause the breakdown of law and order, stating that development can only thrive in a peaceful environment.
The State Deputy Governor then appealed to the Joint Caretaker Committee members to continue with their responsibilities of day to day management of the disputed border areas.
The Director-General, National Boundary, Dr. M. Ahmad who had earlier briefed the meeting on progress made so far, promised that the Commission will soon put forward its views on various actions to be taken towards the conclusion of the boundary resolution.
Dr Ahmad then advised the Joint Caretaker Committee to continue to discharge its mandate diligently pending the final determination of the boundary issue.
Earlier in his welcome address, the hosting Deputy Governor, Mr Ajayi Agboola had regretted that differences in the perception of the interstate boundary had created undue tension and bad blood between the border communities of the two sister states.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting signed by the two Deputy Governors and the Director-General of NBC, the Stakeholders resolved that, “the two States shall endeavour to jointly provide identified basic amenities for the well being of the inhabitants of the disputed settlements to give them a sense of belonging to both states”.
It would be recalled that the initial disputed settlements between Osun and Ondo States were the border villages of Alarere, Sokoto, Temidire and Arowojobe which were, reportedly, put under the administration of a Police Sole Administration in 1989 by the then Governments of Ondo and Oyo States.
Meanwhile, it has been resolved that the next Joint Meeting of Officials of the two states on the boundary issue would be held in the State of Osun before the end of this year.